The Coastal Post - June, 1997

Black Point Development Nixed

An unanimous appellate court decision released May 21 upheld the Marin Superior Court ruling that the City of Novato proceeded unlawfully in approving the Black Point Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in December, 1994. Significantly, the appellate court also held invalid the rezoning ordinance and general plan amendment adopted by Novato to permit the proposed golf course development.

"This sends Spieker Properties back to square one," stated Lynnette Shaw, founder of the Black Point Forest and Wetlands Rescue Project. "Neither the EIR currently before the Novato Planning Commission, nor the 1996 City-Wide General Plan even attempts to analyze the environmental impact of changing the land use designations at this site."

Brian Gaffney, lead attorney for the Rescue Project, argued the case before Judge Gary Thomas and then the Appellate Court. "Without a thorough analysis of these impacts, the City of Novato has failed to comply with the order of the court," said Mr. Gaffney.

The Rescue Project intends to remain vigilant, so that the City of Novato does not approve an environmentally harmful project.

Every major environmental organization in the Bay Area is supporting the Rescue Project effort to preserve the 10,000 heritage oaks and several acres of seasonal wetlands habitat at risk of complete destruction.